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White Christmas (1954)
Short plot summary

Phil Davis (Danny Kaye) saves the life of Bob Wallace (Bing Crosby) in Second World War. They become a successful singing act after the war ends.

Their commanding officer General Thomas F. Waverly (Dean Jagger) has trouble finding a new job after the war. Phil and Bob are approached to help by two sisters Betty Haynes (Rosemary Clooney) and Judy Haynes (Vera Ellen) who may, or may not, have the hots for our dapper heroes...

What our panel of critics thought

"The reds and whites are stunning. Christmas was never the same after this movie."

"Goodness me! It makes me want to decorate up a tree, and it's only March."

"Not a dry eye, nose or leg in the house!"

"The great thing with these war era musicals is the gritty humour in them. Stunningly superb, not as funny as Singin in the Rain, but very colourful."

"This movie is not recommended for those with a red colour blindness."

Please tell me the ending

After a number of misunderstandings, Wallace and Davis' honourable motives for putting on a show for the General become clear. The old curmudgeon initially refuses to come down in his uniform, but he eventually does and is lead into the ballroom by his granddaughter not knowing what is in store.

There, in the dark, is his old unit who sing the song ('We'll follow the old man') we last saw them singing in a show during the war. Grab yer hankies, it's a howler!

Dr Bravisimo-Encore II Movie Review

Oh! what a cockle warmer this movie is, and has been since it's first airing on the seasonal big screen in 1954. A nicely cynical, at times, screenplay leads us round the houses, and musical ditties, inexorably to that final belting-out of the White Christmas standard that has enchanted many a festivitide since.

The movie will perhaps mean most to those who remember the second world war. For those of us young'ens, or those without a military fetish, the war references are somewhat over our heads. This musical is from a more cynical time, a harder time, when the world still remembered being at war.

Bing Crosby (stunning voice) and Danny Kaye together are superb, as is the screenplay which gives them some zippy dialogue, and their chemistry is fantastic - Watch when they perform the mimed 'Sisters' song, the Kaye character hits the Crosby character in the chest with his feather fan, Crosby seems to be taken by surprise and laughs, surely they rehearsed this beforehand? Wonderful either way.

For the ultimate all time greatest musical movie of all time see Singin In The Rain, for a shot of pure Christmas there are few better movies than this one.

Quotable quote (real)

"I'm dreaming of a White Christmas."

"You can have any room in the hotel including mine."

"Everyone has an angle."

"How much is Wow?" "Right between Ouch and Ping!"

"How do you stop a dog from biting you on Monday?" "You shoot the dog on Sunday."

Date of Review

September 14, 2004

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